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Cover for: Performance All the Way Down : Genes, Development, and Sexual Difference

Performance All the Way Down : Genes, Development, and Sexual Difference

Prum, Richard O. More by this author...£18.00

We are living through a time of enormous cultural change involving broad reconsideration of ideas about individual sex, gender, their boundaries, their meanings, and their mutabilities.

There is a growing realization of the diversity of lived gender identities and sexual experiences. Performance All the Way Down is a manifesto for today. It initiates needed dialogue between feminist thought and the science of sex by explaining all the avenues of sexual differentiation from zygote to gendered adult to argue, with an absorbing clarity, against the existence of the sexual binary.

Richard O. Prum, author of The Evolution of Beauty, turns his attention in this book from beauty to sex. What is sex? And what does it mean, scientifically, to question the essentialist, binary concept of sex? Performance All the Way Down poses a new view on these complex questions. For Prum argues that the ways in which a single-celled, fertilized zygote becomes a complex, conscious organism with gender and sexual behavior is best described scientifically as a complex performative continuum. His idea of the performative phenotype challenges the twentieth century isolation of developmental biology from evolutionary biology and the strict conception of gene-level selection, providing an alternative view of what being genetic actually means.

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